Divorce Lawyers in Camp Hill & Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
20 Years of Combined Family Law Experience in Camp Hill PA
If you are lucky, the divorce you are currently facing is your first. As you enter the new and unfamiliar world of divorce law, how can you be assured your interests will be protected at every step, and that your divorce will be handled in a compassionate and dedicated manner? Contact a Camp Hill, PA divorce lawyer.
As you begin your divorce process, the attorneys of the Law Offices of Peter J. Russo, P.C., can provide effective legal help based on decades of divorce law experience and hundreds of cases handled.
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Grounds for Divorce in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania recognizes both fault-based and no-fault grounds for divorce. No fault-divorce is based on either an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or a mutual divorce. For a mutual consent divorce, the parties file sworn statements consenting to the divorce and wait 30 days. In a divorce that alleges an “irretrievable breakdown,” one spouse files a divorce petition that alleges these grounds and also declares that the couple has lived separate and apart for at least one year. The other spouse does not deny the allegations.
If the court denies a no-fault divorce, one of the parties would have to file for divorce based on fault. Fault-based grounds in Pennsylvania include:
- Willful and malicious desertion
- Cruel and barbarous treatment
- Imprisonment or institutionalization
Our divorce lawyers in Harrisburg PA can determine which ground is appropriate and file the necessary documents to commence your case.
Legal Issues Involved in Pennsylvania
A Pennsylvania divorce involves a legal process of disentangling a marriage. This may involve the following legal issues:
- Division of property and liabilities – Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state which means that the property and debt of a married couple are not necessarily split 50/50. Instead, the court tries to fairly divide the property, even if this does not result in an equal distribution process. The divorcing couple is free to enter into their agreement and ask the court to approve it. If they are unable to reach their agreement, the court is responsible for dividing the property. It first identifies the marital property that is subject to division. The court then distributes the property and considers what is equitable under the individual circumstances of the spouses. The court considers several factors in making this determination, such as the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s income, and assets, and which spouse will be primarily responsible for caring for the children.
- Child custody – Parents can reach an agreement about legal custody and physical custody of their children, or the court can make this determination by considering what is in the child’s best interests. Legal custody is the ability to make important decisions that affect a child’s life. Physical custody refers to the parent with whom the child resides most of the joint. In Pennsylvania, there is a presumption that shared custody is in the child’s best interests when both parents are competent caregivers. The court considers several factors when determining what in the child’s best interests, including the child’s relationship with each parent and siblings, any history of domestic violence or abuse, and the child’s wishes.
- Child support – When calculating a child support obligation, Pennsylvania courts consider the physical custody schedule, the number of children to be supported under the order, the monthly net incomes of each parent, and additional expenses to care for the child.
- Spousal support – Pennsylvania divorce may also involve spousal support, which is financial support one spouse may pay to the other spouse. The courts consider various factors when determining whether to award spousal support and for how much. These factors include the ages, physical and emotional conditions of each spouse, the duration of the marriage, the education of the spouses, the earning capacity of each spouse, the assets, liabilities, and property that each spouse owns, whether there are a child support order and marital misconduct, among others.
Our divorce lawyers in Harrisburg PA will use our in-depth knowledge of family law to fight for your desired outcome.
Why Hire the Law Offices of Peter J. Russo, P.C., to Handle Your Divorce?
Many firms will tout litigation and courtroom experience as evidence of divorce law experience and success. While we are also proud of our success in court, we take greater pride in our success out of court.
Why? Because we believe that the mark of an effective divorce lawyer is the ability to effectively obtain our clients’ goals while shielding them from undue stress and hardship whenever possible. While litigation is often attractive when emotions are high, it is also risky, costly and lengthy, and takes the decision-making power away from the parties involved.
Several substitutes for litigation include mediation, negotiation and collaborative law. Each can greatly:
- Reduce discord
- Facilitate communication
- Expedite resolution
- Restrain costs
Our team, has succeeded in helping hundreds of clients achieve their divorce goals without resorting to the expense, delays and loss of privacy that often occur within the judicial system. For more information regarding our divorce law services, contact us for an initial consultation.